Daily Read : Negotiation Jujitsu

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After all the negotiation skills that you have learn, what if the other side just don’t wanna negotiate what can we do? Regardless what proposal you give, they keep attacking, concerned only with maximising their own gains. What can we do to turn them away from positions and towards the merits?

1. If the other side announces a firm position, you may be tempted to criticise and reject it. If tjeu criticise your proposal, you may be tempted to defend it and dig yourself in. If they attack you, you may be tempted to defend yourself and counterattack. In short, if they push you hard, you will tend to push back. Rejecting their position will only lock them in. Defending your proposal only locks you in.

2. If pushing doesn’t work what does? Do not push back. When they assert their positions, do not reject them. When they attack your ideas, don’t defend them. When they attack you, don’t counterattack. Break the vicious cycle by refusing to react. Instead of pushing back, sidestep their attack and deflect it against the problem.

3. Don’t attack their position, look behind it. When the other party set your position neither reject it nor accept it. treat it as one possible option. Look for the interests behind it, seek out the principles that it reflects, and think about ways to improve it.

4. Don’t defend your ideas, invite criticism and advice, instead of accepting or rejecting an idea, ask them whats wrong with it.

5. Turn around and ask them for advice, ask them what would they do if they are in your shoes.

6. Recast an attack on you as an attack on the problem. When the other side attack you personally, resist the temptation to attack back. Instead sit back and allow them to let off steam. Listen to them and show you understand what they are saying. And when they finish recast their attack on you to the problem. For example teachers going on strike. When you say that a strike shows we don’t care about the children, i hear your concern about the children’s education. I want you to know that we share this concern, they are our children and our students. We want the strike to end so we can go back to educating them. What can we both do now to reach an agreement as quickly as possible?

7. Ask questions and pause, questions offer them no target to strike at, no position to attack., Questions do not criticise, the educate. If you have asked an honest question to which they have provided an insufficient answer, just wait. People tend to feel uncomfortable with silence, particularly if they have doubts about the merits of something they have said. Silence often creates the impression of a stalemate that the other side will feel impelled to break by answering your question or coming up with a new suggestion.

8. If it didn’t work, try getting in a third party. In the example of a wife and husband negotiating about the house decor, they can get in a architect to be the third party. More easily than one of those directly involved, a mediator can separate the people from the problem and direct the discussion to interests and options.

9. After a few plans, when the architect feels that he can no longer improve it, he says this is the best i can do. Each spouse now has only one decision to make, yes or no. And a yes answer can be made contingent on the other side’s also saying yes. The one text procedure not only shifts the game away from positional bargaining, it greatly simplifies the process both of inventing options and of deciding jointly on one.

10. Always remember attack the problem. Not the person. Our concern is fairness. Trust is a separate issue. Let me see if i understand what you are saying.